The Purdue Boilermakers finished the season on a high note by making it to the finals of the Big Ten Tournament. They were led all season by their very talented frontcourt, and the Boilermakers will need their frontcourt to carry them through the NCAA tournament.
Purdue is the No. 5 seed in the Midwest region and will be taking on the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans in their first game, who finished the season with an impressive 29-4 record. During the NCAA tournament, anything can happen, but the Boilermakers should roll over the Trojans because of their elite frontcourt. The Trojans have a couple players that are above 6-foot-9, but they do not have a lot of size in their frontcourt, which is why players like Caleb Swanigan, A.J. Hammons, and Isaac Haas should dominate.
So, the first game for the Boilermakers should be rather easy, but after that game, things will get much tougher. Purdue could be matching up with the Iowa State Cyclones or the Iona Gaels in the next round, which would be a tough matchup since both teams can really shoot the basketball.
The Cyclones would be a really tough matchup for the Boilermakers because of how good Iowa State is on offense. Players like Georges Niang and Monte Morris can catch fire at any time, and they play fast-paced basketball, which could really hurt the Boilermakers. If Purdue plays the Cyclones, they are going to need to slow the game down and not play Iowa State's game.
The No. 1 seed in Purdue's region is the Virginia Cavaliers and the No. 2 seed is the Michigan State Spartans. Purdue did beat Michigan State once this season at home, but lost to them recently in the Big Ten Tournament. The good news is that Purdue will not have to face the Spartans unless they both reach the Elite Eight. Virginia would be no easy task for Purdue and neither would the Utah Utes who are the No. 3 seed in the region, but Purdue actually matches up well with a lot of the teams in their region because of their style of play.
Not too many teams outside of the Big Ten have had to deal with Purdue's impressive size, which is why they could create problems for almost every team in their region. Yes, the Cyclones could beat the Boilermakers soundly because of their ability to score, but other than that, most of the matchups look good for Purdue.
Purdue's frontcourt has taken them very far this season, and if they play pretty well in the tournament on both ends, then they could be poised for a deep run in the tourney. Hammons usually always brings it and so does Vince Edwards on the wing, but the Boilermakers are going to really need Swanigan to step up and play extremely well. The Boilermakers are not going to win with their scoring, they are going to win if they can control the pace and play the way they have all season.
Purdue's elite frontcourt can really take this Boilermakers' team far in the tourney.